Fast start fuels big Tommie win
Ten different players scored points, including seven touchdowns from seven different players, as the No. 2-ranked Tommie football team scored a 52-7 victory over UW-Eau Claire in Saturday's season and home opener at O'Shaughnessy Stadium in St. Paul.
The 52 points were the Tommies' most scored in a home opener since 1917 when St. Thomas recorded a 52-0 win over the Silver Swans.
St. Thomas scored the final 37 points of the game after Eau Claire pulled within 15-7 on the first play of the second quarter.
Junior QB Matt O'Connell rushed for 108 yards and passed for 134 yards and guided a Tommie attack that had no turnovers.
The Tommie defense had an interception, a forced fumble and recovery, and six sacks, and limited the Blugolds to 90 net rushing yards and 3-of-13 in third-down conversions. Senior All-America linebacker Tremayne Williams had a sack, a forced fumble and five tackles.
Eau Claire senior tailback Joel Sweeney rushed for 52 yards on eight carries in the first half before leaving with an injury.
The Tommies ran their regular-season win streak to 35 and their home win streak to 18. They scored on all five first-half possessions en route to a 32-7 halftime lead.
Sophomore kick Paul Graupner kicked a 41-yard field goal, one yard off his career best. He extended his streak of made PAT kicks to 38 before having one blocked in the second half.